The Ultimate Guide to Lemons vs Limes: What’s the Difference?

Updated on February 20th, 2020
Lemons vs Limes

Limes and lemons are one of the most delicious and healthy citrus fruits across the globe. Both of these fruits have a lot of properties in common, but limes and lemons are quite distinct from each other. They are widely used for non-culinary and culinary purposes. The pulp, rind, and juice of both the citrus fruits are found to be extensively used in baking, cooking, cleaning, and other departments.

Read on to find out more about lemons and limes, their nutritional similarities and differences, and health benefits.

What are Lemons and Limes?

Lemons and Limes

Limes and lemons are citrus fruits(1) that are genetically dissimilar but are closely related to each other. Experts say that lemon is a hybrid blend of citron and lime, where citron is a big citrus fruit with a thick rind. But this theory is a mere theory  Limes, lemons, tangerines, oranges, grapefruits, and citrons all belong to the family of citrus fruits.

Limes and lemons grow all across the world. While lemons grow in a moderate climate, limes thrive in subtropical and tropical regions. Both the processed and fresh varieties of limes and lemons are used in several industries.

Both of these fruits are renowned for the sour and acidic flavor and are indispensable in the culinary department.

The essential oils of limes and lemons are used in the medical and cosmetic industries. They are also used in manufacturing cleaning agents for their antibacterial and aromatic properties.

[Read: Benefits of Lemon Water]

How Similar Are Lemons and Limes From a Nutritional Perspective?

Even though limes and lemons are quite different from each other, yet they share a host of characteristics in common, especially from the nutritional standpoint. Check out the comparative chart right here for a detailed analysis of limes and lemons.

A 100g serving of either lemon or lime has the following nutritional components.

Parameters Limes Lemons
Calories 30 29
Carbohydrates 11g 9g
Fats 0 0
Fiber 3g 3g
Proteins 1g 1g
Iron 3% of RDI 3% of RDI
Vitamin C 48% of RDI 88% of RDI
Potassium 3% RDI 4% of RDI
Vitamin B9 2% of RDI 3% of RDI
Vitamin B6 2% of RDI 4% of RDI

Based on the content of macronutrients, limes and lemons are quite similar with neither leading the other in calorie count and carb content. Lemon is more abundant in vitamin C as compared to limes. But both the citrus fruits are relevant natural sources of vitamin C.

On the whole, lemons are slightly richer in minerals and vitamins, especially folate, potassium, and vitamin B6.

Health Benefits of Lemons vs Limes

Check out the host of health benefits of limes and lemons below.

1. Pump up the Body Immunity

boosts immunity
Image: Shutterstock

Both limes and lemons contain vitamin C that can boost the immune system and prevent the attack of pathogens.

  • The body cannot generate vitamin C on its own, and therefore, it is essential to take vitamin C from citrus fruits like limes and lemons to fight against the deficiency.
  • Vitamin C assists the body immune system by destroying the nucleic acid of viruses and bacteria, thereby obliterating the same.

2. Fight Asthma Attacks

Drinking the juice of lemons and limes is suitable for the natural cure of asthma and other respiratory diseases.

  • Limes and lemons are rich in vitamin C and potent antioxidants that work in unison to make the respiratory system more resistant to external agents that cause asthma attacks.
  • Besides, the consumption of the juice of limes and lemons is also suitable for natural and deep inhalation.

3. Boost the Absorption of IRON

Iron is crucial for health as it helps in carrying the oxygen to the different cells in the body through the flow of blood.

  • The iron present in the blood carries the oxygen to promote healthy cellular functioning and generation of energy. Limes and lemons contain vitamin C and citric acid that facilitates the absorption of non-heme iron from plant-based food into the digestive system.
  • Add a teaspoon of lemon juice to your salads and veggies for your daily dose of iron and vitamin C.

4. Win the Battle Against Cancer

cancer prevention

Lemons and limes can ease the fight against one of the most dangerous diseases in the world.

  • The peel of lemon is rich in terpene compounds like D-limonene. This compound is incredibly useful in the demolition of cancer cells.
  • Extensive medical research reveals that the administration of limonene of lemons can help to shrink tumors and malignant growths with efficiency.
  • The citrus peel of limes and lemons can even reduce the risks of cancer.

5. Make Your Skin Glow With Health

Limes, lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits have amazing effects on the skin.

  • Limes and lemons are rich in collagen that is a nutrient which is crucial for the health and beauty of the skin.
  • The use of limes and lemons can delay the process of aging and make wrinkles and fine lines disappear into thin air.
  • But did you know that a dash of lime or lemon juice can brighten your skin as well? Prepare a simple mask of the freshly extracted juice and yogurt and apply it all over your face. Follow this procedure daily to nourish your skin and make it glow with beauty.

6. Keep the Blood Pressure Under Control

blood pressure
Image: Shutterstock

Research reveals that limes and lemons can ward off the risks of stroke and help to maintain stable blood pressure.

  • Citrus fruits like limes and lemons contain auraptene that works to reduce high blood pressure and is suitable for the cure of hypertension.
  • Lemons help to maintain the smooth functioning of blood vessels, which lowers the blood pressure and maintains healthy blood circulation throughout the body.

7. Make Your Nervous System Firm and Healthy

Do you feel tense and stressed out with trivialities? Try a dash of lime or lemon. Limes and lemons play a significant role in regulating the central nervous system.

  • Limes and lemons are rich in potassium, which is highly beneficial for the health of the nervous system. A dip in the level of potassium can trigger anxiety, stress, and depression.
  • The nervous system also requires potassium for sending sustainable signals to the cardiac system.

8. Maintain a Healthy Body PH Value

Limes and lemons are excellent for the maintenance of the pH value of the blood.

  • Citrus fruits like limes and lemons may be acidic, but upon metabolism in the body, they render an alkaline effect in the blood.
  • The minerals in the fruits dissociate entirely in the blood and thereby raise the pH value of the blood above 7.

9. Find Relief From Constipation

constipation Relief

Has the simple task of discharging bowels become a painful experience for you? Try limes and lemons for instant relief from constipation and difficulty in bowel movement.

  • Limes and lemons contain citric acid that interacts with the stomach acids and enzymes to ease the process of digestion.
  • The citric acid stimulates the secretion of digestive juices and thereby promotes sound digestion and normal bowel movement.
  • The essential oil of lemon is excellent for the cure of constipation and indigestion.
  • The intake of the juice of limes and lemons can induce the production of bile, which can help in intestinal peristaltic movement and ease the expulsion of feces.

10. Drive out the Bacteria and Viruses

Limes and lemons are vested with potent antiviral and antibacterial properties.

  • The administration of the extract of limes and lemons can heal all kinds of minor infections and sores.
  • From fighting against respiratory troubles to treating sore throats and tonsil inflammation, limes and lemons are incredibly useful in their antibacterial and antiviral action.

[Read: Goodness of Citrus Fruits]

The Uses of Limes and Lemons in the Culinary World

When it comes to the culinary department, both limes and lemons are being allotted similar methods and purposes.

Both the citrus fruits work great for salad dressings, beverages, marinades, sauces, and cocktails. The choice between limes and lemons depends upon the flavor profile and preferences of the dish.

The bitterness of limes is useful in dishes that are more tart and savory, whereas the sweetness of ripe lemons finds application in the preparation of sweet and savory dishes.

However, there are no strict rules, as limes are present in desserts and sweet drinks as well, like in margaritas, lime pies, limeade, etc.

Both limes and lemons are favorite citrus fruits and almost indistinguishable from each other. While lemons are a brighter shade of yellow and slightly sweet, the limes tend to dark green and are of a bitter disposition. Both the fruits are sour and acidic and are almost similar in shape as well.

Although lemons are usually oval and slightly larger whereas limes are small and perfectly round. But the bottom line is that both the citrus fruits possess a world of health benefits. Besides being in extensive use in the culinary, practical, cosmetic, and medicinal industries, lemons and limes are quite indispensable for health.

So what are you waiting for? Savor a drop of lime or lemon juice right now and see if you can make out any difference.

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